By all accounts, Jane was a happy, content person. Upon attending a dance when she was 33 years old, she says this in a letter to Cassandra: “It was the same room in which we danced 15 years ago!—I thought it all over—& inspite [sic] of the shame of being so much older, felt with Thankfulness that I was quite as happy now as then.”
Some people are naturally lighthearted, and the Austens were known for having a happy nature and a cheerful outlook on life. However, this portion of Jane’s prayer provides a clue to a deeper source of joy and contentment. It speaks to the foundation of her life and mindset: a firm belief in God’s “Fatherly goodness.” In these lines, Jane thanks God for the comforts of her “past and present existence,” for “health of Body & of Mind,” and for “every other source of happiness.” She asks God to continue his goodness toward her and for “a more grateful sense” of the blessings in her life.
We bless thee for every comfort of our past and present existence, for our health of Body & of Mind & for every other source of happiness which Thou hast bountifully bestowed on us & with which we close this day, imploring their continuance from Thy Fatherly goodness, with a more grateful sense of them, than they have hitherto excited.
Are there special blessings and comforts God has provided in your life?